How excessive salt intake affects immunity

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — German scientists have found that excessive salt intake suppresses the human immune system, contributing to the development of bacterial infections of the internal organs. This was reported by the press service of the University of Bonn.

Scientists have previously suggested that a salt-rich diet stimulates the immune system, as animal experiments have found that infected skin wounds heal faster in animals that consume high levels of salt. Immune cells (macrophages) are known to be especially active in the presence of salt.

A new study by scientists from the University Hospital Bonn showed that the opposite is true for the rest of the body. Excess salt in the body is filtered by the kidneys, in which there is a sensor that activates this mechanism. However, this same sensor causes the accumulation in the body of steroid hormones (glucocorticoids), which suppresses the function of the most common type of immune cells in the blood (granulocytes).

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As a result, the body is much more difficult to resist bacterial infections. Experiments in mice showed that in the tissues of animals that were given food with a high salt content, from 100 to 1000 times more pathogenic bacteria were found.

German scientists also examined volunteers who consumed six grams of salt in addition to their daily diet. This corresponded to two hamburgers or two servings of french fries. It was revealed that their immune cells coped with bacteria much worse after the subjects began to adhere to this diet with a high salt content.

The English historian, philosopher Francis Bacon in the 16th century expressed the view that science should give man power over nature and thereby improve his life, adding that science should occupy a worthy place in the “kingdom of man.” In fact, he laid the foundations of scientific research, his famous aphorism Scientia potentia est (“Knowledge is power”) is known. The first researchers appeared in the XIX century.

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The article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by Ordo News staff in our US newsroom press.